Doha: (Agencies: 21/04/2010): At the conclusion of the First Forum of National Human Rights Institutions in GCC countries, Participants this afternoon (Wednesday, 21/04/2010) thanked His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Qatar’s Prime Premier and Foreign Minister for patronizing the meeting, and went on to thank the GCC Secretary-General as well as the NHRC, the State of Qatar and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for taking the initiative to call for the convening of the Forum in the first place. This was followed by issuing the final statement which was read out on behalf of NHRC Chairman Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marry by Mr. Sultan Al-Jamali, NHRC Director of Finance and Administration.
In their closing statement, the Forum urged GCC countries to develop comprehensive national plans for human rights, and invited the Secretariat of the Gulf States for the establishment of a permanent coordinating committee in the "Council" for Human Rights.
The Forum jointly organized by NHRC, OHCHR called on, governments to support national institutions financially and to facilitate the tasks and ensure their independence and closely cooperate with them; the Forum also invited the GCC Secretariat to establish a standing committee of the Council on human rights so as to work in coordination with national institutions for human rights; the Forum also recommended that GCC states should develop comprehensive national plans for human rights. The participants called through their final statement that their recommendations be submitted to the GCC General Secretariat. They called for establishing a follow-up implementation mechanism whereby the participants are informed of developments in this regard. They called for the Forum to convene annually and that the coming Form to be held next year – 2011, in another GCC country.
Recommendations outlined in the final statement included nine articles calling on Gulf states who have not established national institutions for Human Rights to do so at their earliest and in line with United Nations standards known as the Paris Principles 1993; participants meanwhile welcomed the decision of the UN General Assembly of the United Nations to establish the United Nations Centre for Training and documentation in the field of human rights in South-West Asia and the Arab region, calling on the various countries concerned to cooperate with and provide all needed support to it; The Forum also invited the Centre to provide advisory services and technical support to countries wishing to establish national institutions for human rights, and technical support to national institutions existing in order to upgrade their performance in the field, and to encourage cooperation and exchange of experiences between national institutions for human rights and emphasize the close cooperation between these institutions and civil society organizations in the Gulf states.